Turkish researchers found that spearmint tea may control excessive hair growth in women. In a town called Isparta in southwest Turkey, extracts of spearmint plant had been reported to reduce libido in men. It is thought it is due to the tea’s effects on the androgen (male) hormone levels.

Hirsutism or the excessive growth of facial and body hair in women causes a lot of distress and embarrassment and is usually treated with drugs to reduce the levels of androgen or male hormones in the body. The researchers are hoping that spearmint could be a good natural alternative therapy.

In the study, the researchers looked at 21 volunteers with hirsutism, 12 of whom had polycystic ovarian syndrome. All the women were given a cup of spearmint tea twice a day for five days in the follicular (when the ovarian follicle develops) phase of their menstrual cycle.

Study results showed a significant decrease in free (active) testosterone in the blood and an increase in several female hormones including follicle-stimulating hormone.

It is not exactly known how the spearmint affected hormonal levels but it is thought that it might be affecting the metabolism of hormones such as testosterone or directly synthesis of androgen hormones.

Like already mentioned, current therapy involves either oral contraceptives to suppress androgen production, or medications such as spironolactone that prevent the body responding to androgen and the researchers are hoping to show that spearmint could be a good natural alternative for women with mild hirsutism symptoms.

It is left to test the reliability of spearmint in treating mild hirsutism and check if such therapies and avoiding medical one would have any consequence for the women. In the meantime, conventional treatment should be used.